August 27, 2013

Maine panel to discuss fix for Riverview psychiatric hospital

The federal government has threatened to cut $20 million in funding on Sept. 2 unless problems are corrected.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — A special committee is meeting at the Maine State House to develop legislation to prevent a state-run psychiatric facility from losing $20 million in federal funding next week.

Advocates from the Maine Civil Liberties Union, officials from the state's Department of Health and Human Services and others, will meet Tuesday to discuss problems facing the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

The federal government threatened to cut funding Sept. 2, citing concerns such as the misuse of correctional officers.

Gov. Paul LePage's administration is urging lawmakers to pass legislation to create a mental health wing at the state prison to cut down on Riverview's overcrowding. The committee will examine what else can be added to that proposal to address the federal government's concerns before lawmakers return Thursday for a special session.

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